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Coronavirus: Disinformation

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 98963, tabled on 6 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many pieces of content the specialist units established to tackle misinformation on covid-19 have directly rebutted on social media in each month since those units were established.

Answered on

11 January 2022

The Cross-Whitehall Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU) was established on 5 March 2020, bringing together cross-government monitoring and analysis capabilities. As of 7 January 2022 the CDU is still fully operational.

Addressing the challenges of disinformation and misinformation is a whole of the government effort. The CDU is resourced full time and works in close partnership with cross-government teams. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the size of the team in DCMS has increased. Requirements are continually reviewed to ensure appropriate levels of resourcing, including surge capacity as needed.

When false narratives are identified, the CDU coordinates departments across Whitehall to deploy the appropriate response. This can include a direct rebuttal on social media, flagging content to platforms and ensuring public health campaigns are promoted through reliable sources.

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